Accused adoption scammer hit with federal charges

Roxanne Jones CBS

The last time you saw alleged Kansas City adoption scam artist Roxanne Jones, she was being arrested by local and federal law enforcement minutes after being confronted by CBS chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian in a Kansas City hotel room wired with hidden cameras.

Today federal authorities hit her with 12 counts of wire fraud and identity theft in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas. According to the complaint, Jones confessed to police moments after being read her Miranda rights saying that she was "pretending to be pregnant in an attempt to get money for rent, groceries, utilities, and other living expenses. The defendant admitted that what she did was wrong, and said she was untruthful."

The federal complaint is based on the case of a single victim, identified only as "J.B." who called the Overland Park Police Department on March 22, the day after CBS News aired the story on Jones and her adoption scheme. "J.B. reported being defrauded by the defendant during an adoption scam, however, the defendant used the name "Roxanne Melissa Farris," according to the complaint which identified her with three other aliases: Stephanie Isaiah, Jayme Furney and Kristy Bennett.


CBS News first learned of Roxanne Jones after she defrauded a CBS News employee and his wife -- who sent money -- before realizing they'd been conned. In early March, posing as a mother looking to adopt, another CBS producer made contact with Jones, who said her name was Cindy Stevens.

If convicted of all 12 counts, Jones faces a maximum of 22 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Detectives in Overland Park Kansas and agents with the US Secret Service are continuing to investigate the activities of Jones and have made requests in the media for other victims to come forward. During the month-long CBS investigation, we found 10 victims of Jones' adoption scams from states across the country including New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota and California.